TAMPA — Parent teacher associations and parent teacher student association members from across Hillsborough County were recognized for their work at schools and in the community at the recent Hillsborough County Council of PTA-PTSA Awards luncheon.
Hillsborough County School Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia told about 300 guests at the Mainsail Conference Center on May 13, “We talk about partnerships. I do not believe there is a more important partnership than the one that exists between the PTA and the district — and the parents and the schools.”
Elia presented the Superintendent’s Membership Awards with Plant High School PTSA recognized for the largest numerical increase in members with 180 members more than the previous year. Roland Park K-8 won for the biggest percentage increase because the membership grew from 230 to 401 — a 68 percent increase.
PTA Council President Bridgitte Kramer and others presented other awards, including the Making a Difference Award to Dale Mabry Elementary PTA for their work assisting the PTA and families at West Shore Elementary through food drives, coat drives and support.
Peggy Walker, Dale Mabry’s PTA president, won elementary president of the year with presidents Jill Rintoul, of Randall Middle School PTSA, and Irv Dupre, of Durant High School PTSA, also awarded the honor in their categories.
Other big winners were Hunter’s Green Elementary PTA, Sgt. Smith Middle School PTSA and Gaither High School PTSA as the Spotlight (Local Unit Achievement) Award winners, and Westchase PTA, Roland Park K-8 PTA, Randall Middle and Steinbrenner High for the Three-Star Award, which recognizes PTAs with projects that represent at least three of the purposes of the PTA.
Local Unit (Middle School) Student of the Year awards went to Savannah White, Emily Garrigues and Michelle Kidder, of Mulrennan Middle School, for their concern for safety, which is resulting in a traffic light being installed near the school.
Kody Dahlke, a Wharton High School senior, received the same award in the high school division. He has served on the PTSA board as a student representative for four years and will attend the University of North Florida.
“I just really wanted to help the school and wanted to be sure the PTSA board was informed as to what the students were doing,” he said.